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Oscars Academy Museum Tops $388 Million Fundraising Goal

Long-delayed museum is currently set to open next year

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has exceeded its pre-opening fundraising campaign goal of $388 million, the new institution announced today.

The new museum on Wilshire Blvd. is slated to open in April 2021 in conjunction with the Oscars, both delayed by the pandemic.

A closing gift from LAIKA put the museum over the top of its funding goal as part of a fundraising campaign launched in 2012 and headed up by museum chair Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.

In recognition of the gift, the Academy Museum has newly named the LAIKA Gallery, dedicated to special c0llections, which will debut with the exhibition “The Path to Cinema: Highlights from the Richard Balzer Collection.”

Museum officials did not specify the amount of the LAIKA gift or by how much the campaign goal was exceeded with new funds. Additional new gifts have come from Eric and Melina Esrailian, Julia and Ken Gouw, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Drs. Kathy Fields and Garry Ryant, and Kimberly Steward and Period Media.

The museum said in a statement that more than 13,000 donors have contributed to the campaign for the Academy Museum, including gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations and government entities.

The largest gift to the campaign to date is $50 million from Cheryl and Haim Saban, for which the Saban Building (formerly a May Co. department store) has been named.

The Academy Museum has been plagued with delays and costs overruns during its years in development and construction. According to Variety its total budget has most recently been estimated at $482 million.